I recently spied an article by Renee Collett entitled 22 Habits of People Who Felt Neglected Growing Up. I found this article through Yahoo.com but it originally appeared over at The Mighty. Here’s the link to this article. I get the impression that Collett polled The Mighty community and simply asked what adult habits did people develop in response to an early experience of having been neglected. That’s it. There’s no discussion of the form neglect took or by whom. I’m not sure that this is really important though. What I found fascinating (but not surprising) is how much these adult habits have to do with patterns of insecure attachment. So, here’s the list of adult habits arising out of an early history of neglect. I’m paraphrasing the quotes used in the article and collapsing the list a bit because a few habits (or variations thereof) appear more than once (and I have indicated when a habit appears more than once).
- I never feel good enough
- I do not trust people or I have a fear of commitment (4)
- I do everything for my partner
- I smoke
- I don’t ask for anything (especially help) (2)
- I feel like an inconvenience to people around me
- I isolate
- I lack self confidence
- I’m an overachiever
- I find it hard to speak up
- I constantly need reassurance
- I expect to be disappointed or rejected (2)
- I have a hard time with attention or I seek attention (2)
So, just an observation that the above habits could be looked at using a lens of Bowlbian attachment theory. Neglect, especially neglected requests for secure attachment, can and do have lifelong consequences. We often hear that “kids are resilient.” Yes they are. They develop habits in adulthood that allow them to survive. But do these same habits allow them to thrive?